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3/6/2003 3:24:10 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Mexico--Department of Education Admits Birth Date Requests Exceed Legal Requirements

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 6, 2003

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

Many of you have received letters from Dr. Michael Kaplan at the New
Mexico Department of Education notifying you that your homeschool
registration form has NOT been accepted because it lacked the date of
birth for your children. Those of you who received these letters have
already been threatened with legal proceedings to enforce the
Compulsory School Attendance Act. Thanks to the hard work of
homeschool leaders and the courage of homeschoolers across the state,
the New Mexico Department of Education has finally admitted that Dr.
Kaplan's demands exceed the law. Because of this, we are changing our
notice of intent form on the Home School Legal Defense Association
website.

On February 25, 2003, two homeschool parents met with Department of
Education staff to discuss the problems with the notification
procedures. Although the meeting began with some tension, Steven
Sanchez, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning
Technologies, was very helpful. The Department staff admitted that
the law does not require birth dates on a notification of intent
form, and recognized that homeschoolers do have legitimate privacy
concerns. The Department officials were surprised to discover how
intimidating their form letters seemed to a homeschooling mother who
is concerned about prosecution. When they realized how threatening
their letters sounded, they promised to rewrite them.

The Department of Education has requested an opportunity to talk with
homeschoolers at the Christian Association of Parent Educators of New
Mexico conference in April. I will be speaking at this conference and
look forward to meeting with these officials. For more information
about the convention, see the CAPE-NM website at:
www.cape-nm.org/2003_convention.htm.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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